Thanksgiving is a day off for Meals on Wheels drivers at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES), and volunteers help make that possible. This year I was very happy to be part of that effort.
I had no idea what to expect or how many people would participate. I was pleasantly surprised to see at least 40 men, women and children waiting to help on Thanksgiving morning.
The holiday deliveries are organized each year by SCES Volunteer Programs Manager Marie Mazzeo and Meals Program Director Deb McLean. Their enthusiasm and organizational skills made it look easy, gathering such a diverse group of volunteers to go forth and do good. Also there was new SCES Director Paul Hollings, who went around greeting everyone in his warm and friendly way.
Marie introduced me to my partner, Dorothea, who shared that last year she sang the Thanksgiving song to a couple of residents while handing out hot and cold meal packs. This knowledge came in handy as we went door to door. More on this later.
Our assignment was to deliver meals at 10 households. Happily everyone was home. We were given instructions to make note of any residents who did not answer their doors, so SCES staff could check on them the next day. I had the list of names and checked them off.
Dorothea and I quickly set a rhythm about who would do what. She pushed a cart with the meals and I knocked on the doors. There were two memorable visits. One was a gentleman who Dorothea realized was a veteran. She thanked him for his service and asked if he would like to hear the Thanksgiving song. He shyly said yes, so Dorothea and I stood on either side of him as she sang and it was very touching. He really felt the words of the song. It was a beautiful moment.
We later visited with a woman who I felt might also enjoy hearing Dorothea sing. So I asked and she said yes; another lovely heartfelt moment. Songs are really the universal language that go straight to the heart.
All in all, it only took about 40 minutes and we were done. I really enjoyed sharing this time with Dorothea. We reported back to SCES. I got a final hug from Marie and was on my way. All in all a lovely experience while serving others.
Thank you, Marie and Deb and the rest of your team, for making this such a pleasant, rewarding experience.
Best wishes for a happy holiday season.
Rachel Marta Greenberg is the Assistant Manager for the Money Management Program at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services.